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The Beauty And The Tragedy Part Three
Chapter Three: March, 1857

“So what did you do while you were in town this morning?” Benjamin asked. The two of them were sitting together in Eva’s bedroom with Eva sitting on her bed, hugging her pillow against her and Benjamin sitting at her vanity across from the bed.

“I bought some hot cocoa,” Eva said, “And I just looked around all the shops. It was infuriating. As soon as I told them my name, they asked me why I was so interested in what they were doing.”

“Well…why were you?” Benjamin said.

Eva scoffed and rolled her eyes, “Because I don’t know anything else outside of this. It was so interesting to see all the different things outside of this house.”

“I suppose I haven’t had the chance to really look around,” Benjamin said.

“Doesn’t Claire live in town?” Eva said.

“Well I don’t take the time to look at all the different shops. I just go to where Claire is,” Benjamin looked away and played with his pocket watch.

Emma opened Eva’s bedroom door and took a step in, “Eva, you need to get ready for afternoon tea. And Benjamin, shouldn’t you be leaving to bring Claire here?”

“No. Claire is coming here,” Benjamin said as he stood up off the chair, “But I’ll leave anyway so Eva can change her dress.”

Benjamin stepped out and Emma stood there waiting for Eva to get up to find a dress to change into but she still sat there on her bed. Emma raised her eyebrows and pointed to Eva’s closet. Eva groaned, “Mother what’s wrong with what I’m wearing now?”

“You can’t wear your walking suit to afternoon tea,” Emma started laughing like Eva should know that. Eva got off her bed and opened her arms, “It’s still a dress Mother. Why do I need to change it?”

“Just do it,” Emma said with a frown. She walked out of the bedroom and snapped her fingers and Eva’s maid came in and headed for the closet to get a dress for Eva.

Benjamin watched a wagon ride up and stop in front of the house. The footman walked towards the wagon and opened the door. Claire climbed out and took a minute to stretch before walking up the stairs in a mauve tea dress and her hair wrapped up in a snood. Benjamin bowed a little, holding out his hand for Claire to take. She smiled and placed her hand in his. He lifted her hand and kissed it, “It’s wonderful to see you Claire.”

“I’m glad you invited me Benjamin,” she said, taking his arm as he led her inside. Benjamin stared at her while they walked, the image of her with that soldier popping into his head. He tried shaking it off but it was difficult to get the images out. He knew that soldier had touched her and kissed her and had taken her in her bed. He shoved it out of his mind and continued on into parlor where Emma was sitting waiting for them. When she saw Claire, she smiled and stood up, “Claire, how wonderful to see you again! Did you enjoy yourself last night?”

“It was a lovely evening Mrs. Weston,” Claire said with a warm smile, “Thank you very much for having me.”

“Oh I enjoyed having you Claire,” Emma grabbed Claire’s hands and opened her arms so she could look at her dress, “What a beautiful dress Claire.”

“Oh thank you,” Claire looked down at her dress and smiled, “I made it myself.”

“It’s perfect,” Emma said. Eva was then led into the parlor by her maid with her dark blue brocade tea dress with puffy sleeves and a black sash tied at her waist. She joined Emma, Benjamin, and Claire and ran her hands up the sleeve of Claire’s dress, “What a lovely color. It’s wonderful to see you again Claire.”

“Come, come everyone,” Emma nudged them out of the parlor, “I thought it was such a lovely day we could have tea in the garden today.”

They all walked outside into the garden and sat down at a little white table in the far corner of the garden. It was quiet and peaceful outside with the strong smell of different kinds of flowers. The tea and the pastries were out there waiting for them when they sat down and Emma’s maid poured their tea and served them their cakes.

“So where do you live Claire?” Emma asked as she stirred her sugar into her tea. Claire started to cough when Emma asked her that question and tea fell from her mouth. Luckily she lifted her napkin in time for it to catch it and not stain her dress.

“Um I live in town,” Claire said, dabbing her lips and chin with the napkin.

“Yes I know Claire,” Emma chuckled, “I mean where in town do you live?”

“It’s a nice little house on the outskirts,” Claire explained, avoiding Emma’s eyes and staring at her stained napkin and she scooped up more sugar to add to her tea, “With my parents and my brother.”

“How lovely,” Emma said, taking a small sip and turning to Benjamin, “When did you two meet?”

Benjamin and Claire exchanged looks, not knowing what they should tell Emma. Benjamin realized he really should’ve given Claire a story to tell Emma. For some reason it never occurred to him that Emma would ask. He should’ve figured that Emma would pester Claire with question after question.

“Mother, it’s unimportant,” Eva said, sensing Benjamin and Claire’s panic, “I think they make a very lovely couple.”


Ah, sorry Eva didn't have a major part this time. She had a little bit of a part so that's something right? Haha! I know this chapter is short and I didn't know where to end it so if this ending seems a bit awkward, that's why haha! But I wanted to finish this before I have to pack up my computer to go home. I kind of rushed smilies/icon_wink.gif hopefully I can post another chapter tonight but we'll see how it goes haha.

Rockstar_Angel17
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